So, How Do I Read?
Read with Peace, calmness.
What is peace? It is a state of freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.
What is calmness? It is a quiet and peaceful state or condition, a peaceful mental or emotional state.
What are disquieting or oppressive thoughts? They are thoughts that disturb and are *unreasonably* burdensome.
Unreasonable here will mean: not appropriate.
Reading involves the interpretation of a particular piece of information – written and in order to successfully carry out the process of interpretation, the mind of the reader is very much needed than any other part of him apart from his eyes. So, the mind is needed for interpretation because the information that is being read, goes into the mind and is weighed, sized, broken down. Vocabularies are broken down, defined, mixed/compared with resident vocabularies and then processed. All these in order to absorb the information and then reproduce it in a way that the mind seems it best.
Note the word “reproduce” and not replicate. Reproducing it will mean you are recreating it while replication will indicate making a replica, exact copy of it.
So if the mind is so much needed for interpretation while carrying out reading, then the mind need to be in a perfect or almost perfect condition.
Many or most of us, students, never understand this and we encounter little to great hitch in our reading.
There is always so much noise in our minds that we seem not to be able to focus on something at a particular time. There are always thoughts flying here and there in our mind, both agreeing and conflicting thoughts. It then seems like the only times we are able to shut out all of those noise are the times we shut ourselves from this physical part of the universe. I mean, the only times we happen to be able to successfully shut out those noise, those thoughts flying about, we end up shutting ourselves out of this physical realm.
Imagine sleep as a case study. When you are asleep, you are able to focus on what is really going on in your mind and then it appears as a dream and it seems like you are right in the middle of the dream, seeing everything going on in your mind. At that point, you are right inside of your mind, your focus is almost at 100% on what is playing in your mind.
Webster defined dream as : a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep.
Also, take a look at the situation when a person is said to be lost in thoughts. What is happening at that time is that the person has been able to run into his or her mind and focus on something. His or her eyes are open but they are not seeing anything, the only eyes that are able to see clearly are the ones that are inside, seeing what is happening in the mind.
The thoughts have been eliminated and one in particular has been separated and magnified.
But there is a place of gradually and consciously eliminating thoughts and then allowing peace to exist to an extent.
Many read with a mind that is filled with sever thoughts : of worry, fear, love, anxiety, bitterness, what is going on, anger/grudge, different situations in our lives, etc. They will give no way for peace and calmness. Imagine you trying to paint a very rowdy marketplace during the day, you know you are going to stain a lot of people and foodstuffs and that will cause very serious arguments and fights. Or trying to renovate the structures of the market when all sellers and buyers are doing their thing. You know how things might turn out to be. That’s just how it is when you are trying to read (educate yourself/your mind by interpreting the written piece) with a noisy mind. There will be lots of fights and conflicts and trust me, the information you are trying to put in only have about between 0-10% survival rate. Other pressing issues (thoughts) will battle it until it dies off and that’s when you discover that you are taking longer time to assimilate and then you forget so easily and quickly.
Letting go of whatever thoughts have taken over your mind before you set out to read will really help your reading.
You can’t be scared and then expect to read successfully. The only thing that you will do successfully is getting even scared more than you were before you started reading.
Going back to one of the words I used earlier :”unreasonable”- unreasonably burdensome. Why this is so is because it is not only negative thoughts that will reduce the efficiency of your reading. There are some thoughts, that are good but are not needed at that time. Hence, “unreasonably burdensome”, they are unreasonable, meaning they are not appropriate at that time. The reason they are not appropriate at that time is because your duty, assignment, your aim at that time is to read and not to be soaking in some pleasant thoughts.
Imagine, you are trying to educate your mind and at the same time allowing the same mind to soak and swim in thoughts that can wait, thoughts that are not related to what you are doing at that time, thoughts that will end up taking away your attention. You are teaching a young boy mathematics and the boy is busy playing with his toys (something that gives him joy) or seeing a cartoon and eating at the same time. You can successfully conclude that you are just wasting your time. Same thing applies here.
There should be a separation!
Whatever thoughts will take away your full focus when you are reading are inappropriate at that time. You will just be moving about in cycles or standing at a spot.
Eliminate every noise ( inappropriate thoughts) when you want to read.
If you want to accommodate any thought(s), be sure you will not get drawn away and still have your focus but it seems no student need to do that right now. Reading time is reading time! Not a time to be thinking about the lady that just said yes to you or the guy that you just said yes to. Let it be purely book during that period!
If you are very hungry, eat first….. Because there is every possibility that the hunger will increase as you are trying to read and then your mind will start looking for means to get food and then distractions start.
Reading time is reading time!